Being the parent of a special needs child would be so much easier if the world wasn’t full of reminders that you’re kid, and thus your life are different or wrong, or sick, etc.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a pity post. I know my boy is beyond amazing. The smartest person in this house with the personality of a King, or Giant, or some fascinating person you’ve only ever read about. But I need to keep it real…
All of that “he’s so great” or “he’s a genius” stuff doesn’t come to mind when I’m wiping up a kicking and screaming almost 4 year old’s poop and trying not to get it on my outfit. Or getting punched or bitten because I just want to put his shoes on so we can make it to school on time and I can’t yell at him because it will only make things worse and his older brother is trying to get my attention because he’s doing something really cute, and Oh God my phone is at 1% and it’s 6:45 AM, and why the hell is the TV so loud…must stay calm and use this as a teachable moment to set precedent…that’s what the doctor said to do right? And oh crap, we’re way over the prescribed 10 hours of weekly screen time and it’s only Wednesday… we are one minute from being late and 2 minutes from a meltdown so there’s no time to let him fasten his shoes to improve the motor skills….and oh yeah, my other kid is still in her pajamas….
Ok, you get my point.
Honestly all of that chaos is something I’m willing to accept and I do. I live it…it’s our beautiful messy life and I know things will get easier.
But Just as I do accept this. Every day. Every morning. I wake up and accept it…something happens to remind me that NOPE! NOOOOOPE! Things are amiss here. One of these families is not like the other.
It can be big. Like a public meltdown where folks around you are Southern and sweet and just want to help m’ijo, but he lashes out at them and they don’t understand how a little boy could misread their social cues of comfort. So you apologize profusely whilst keeping that “everything is fine” face.
Or it can be small. Like the little girls who looked at each other and said “who’s he talking to” as we sped walked up the stairs and into the school. Max was reciting dialogue from Kung-Fu Panda with his deep boat horn voice and choppy articulation. As I passed him off to his [*amazing*] PPCD teacher they gave each other another that “Oh that explains it” look.
The deep hibernating Momma bear wants to give these kiddos the side eye, but of course I can’t cause “society” says it ain’t cool to give mocositas who yes, happen to be minors, the stank eye…but also, and perhaps more so because I am the Mom I need to look like I have it together. Because If I do, then it must all be good. And it has to all be good because If I acknowledge the broken pieces of my heart, it will surely splatter and be a messy situation. And I have 2 others kids to drop off and provide “normal” lives for.
That’s a lot of pressure my friends.
Pressure that sits upon the shoulders and chests of each and every special needs parent out there.
I may feel that pressure but I have LUCKY to have a verbal, walking, engaging child.
But it’s still pressure.
I’m reminded when I have a conversation with my older son about his day at school, that I can’t have with his little brother. Or when I see His baby sister playing with dolls and using her imagination…and how I could be so foolish as to ignore the warning signs when he was her age.
When “just get a sitter” is painfully hilarious. Because you so desperately need a night off but really you need to hire two, because Max needs his own designated sitter.
So yes, I believe in that cute “different is awesome” “who wants to be normal?” kind of stuff. But if I’m being honest…If I’m keeping it 100 as the kids say…Then I raise my hand. For like one day…can we be normal? For one day can I be able to cheer when my kids finally sits on the potty, a note home without the words “biting friends” or “rough day” at the bottom? Can I understand what exactly he likes/ dislikes and why he does so. Sign me up for that day, please. “Normal Day” you can have my Mother’s Day or Flag Day in exchange.
So If you catch me out in them streets (again, as the kids say) and I look frazzled please know it’s because the pressure got to me that day.
❤ Esposa Janeli